How can I best leverage social media to stand out to prospective employers?

The ability to navigate new forms of media, branding and technology is critical to success, whatever side of the desk you occupy. Establishing yourself or your company as a leader and an innovator in your segment of the business will add to your value in the marketplace.

How well we present ourselves competitively as marketers is becoming even more critical in a challenging hiring environment. The digital space offers countless possibilities to spotlight your personal expertise or your company’s strengths. Recruiters, hiring managers and candidates routinely scour the Web. Finding the most qualified candidates isn’t just a matter of sifting through thou­sands of resumes, and standing out as a truly desirable employer takes more than just posting job descriptions. Articles, interviews, blogs or podcasts you’ve published can be powerful tools to sell your accomplishments to employers or to position your firm to the right talent.

Social networking and community sites offer a wealth of opportunities to enhance your reputation and to connect with decision makers. Build a strong network on LinkedIn, answer and ask “Questions,” and highlight key projects in “What you’re working on.” Start or join a group on Meetup, form an “Alliance” of groups, and participate in events. “Tweet” regularly on Twitter. Create or join business-specific Facebook or MySpace groups, and install widgets such as “My questions.” Use these methods judiciously to ensure that searches will yield the results a potential employer or hire will want to see.

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